Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Monday, December 29, 2014


I hate to admit this but I will.

I bought my truck (the truck the Sanctuary uses to haul any horses), back in December 2004. It's a Ford F250. It's been a fairly dependable vehicle. It's paid off and I'm still pretty proud of being able to get it paid off almost in half the time. I'm a little weird when it comes to vehicles I guess. I tend to hang on to them for ages and still see them through rose colored glasses.

So it dawned on me that this month, I've had my truck for TEN years! That's right. Ten years. How crazy time flies. The best part.....

I bought the truck used when it was six months old and the original owner put 10,500 miles on it in six months. I've had it for TEN YEARS. Know how many miles *I* have put on that truck?

Not nearly enough. The truck is now sitting with 30,000 miles on it as of last Friday's vet visit with Junior!

Ten years and only 30,000 miles. Something tells me I don't haul horses nearly as much as a lot of people! :-) At this rate, we'll have that truck for years! Which is exactly my plan!

Happy Ten Year Anniversary to my Ford F250!


Last Tuesday I went out to do chores and noticed that Skippy was lying down. He wasn't all sprawled out or rolling. He was simply curled up but jumped up when I walked near his pen. I proceeded to do chores and threw hay into his feeder.

Normally Skippy dives into the hay. Tommy acted like he'd been starving (he's fat by the way). Skippy nibbled at a few blades of hay and that was it.

Red Flag.

Skippy has never coliced before so I was shocked to see that he wasn't feeling well. Other than his skin allergy, he's been picture perfect healthy so I was taken by surprise that he was "off". I don't know if he was actually colicing or if he was a little off.

I pulled him out and walked him around in hopes that walking would help. He didn't act like he was going to roll. He kept his head down but with no snow, he was trying to grab a few  bites of dead grass. So I was having a hard time figuring out what was going on. Usually when I pull Skippy out, he's prancing and whinnying to Tommy and acting like a big shot. In most cases, he's usually pushing me around. But he walked along. Walking was my sign. He's always trotting when he's being led somewhere.

I decided I'd better get him a dose of banamine to see if that would help. Since I already had him in hand and was by the house, I decided to take him into the house. I wish I would have gotten a picture of it. It'll probably be the only time any horse is actually IN the house. Yup, that's right. I let Skippy into the house. That's how much I thought he wasn't feeling well. I gave him a dose of banamine and out the door we went for some more walking.

He didn't poop while I was talking him but I didn't know how much walking we could/should do. I also needed to get ready for our church (Cowboy Way Church had their Christmas session a day early so that we could enjoy our Christmas Eve).

I checked on Skippy right before we left for church and again when we got home. He seemed ok but I still was worried. When I went out to do chores in the morning, Skippy dove into his food. I'm not sure what it was. Nothing had changed. The feed was still the same, the water was the same, and the weather was the same. So who knows. I'll be keeping a closer eye on Skippy now that he's felt "icky".

Comfort Horses

The past week has been more than a blur than anything else. Unfortunately the holidays and stresses that go with it were too much for me last Monday. So I ended up wandering through the herd, petting everyone and just mulling around trying to de-stress.

That's when it hit me. I missed Queen. She was my Go-To Girl for any time my heard and mind were in turmoil. I hate to admit it but I lost it then. So I hung on the gate between the mares and the geldings. Rabbit was by the gate but she never moved. She never was the lovey dovey type. But Mayhem came over to see what was going on.

Queen taught Mayhem well. Within minutes of me just standing there, she came over to check on  me. I'm sure it was more out of curiosity rather than anything else but I'll take whatever I can get. She nuzzled me a few times to see what was going on. I wasn't sure if Mayhem would have the nurturing capability or not. She does.

Then Junior wiggled his way in to see what was going on. Believe it or not, Junior dared to bet in between Rabbit and Mayhem (and Rabbit's butt was facing Junior). Junior came over and put his muzzle on me a few times too! Then Mayhem decided to sidle up to Junior so there wasn't any room between the two.

So instead of having one Go-To horse, I now have two. Mayhem and Junior are my "comfort" horses. I could have stood there for hours and those two wouldn't have left my side. Although they did keep bumping me. I think that was their way of telling me that they cared and wanted to help.

I guess I never knew how much I needed a "comfort" horse until I didn't have one any more. Luckily I have two. Oh I'm sure they wouldn't let me hang on them like I did with Queen. But they'll understand when  my heart and  mind are in turmoil and need a comforting nuzzle on my cheek.

SmartPak Blanket Videos

I'm totally being lazy and simply linking to someone else's post who found the SmartPak Blanket videos.

One word...hilarious!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Vet Visit

I had a vet appointment scheduled for this past Friday. I wanted to take Junior in to make sure that his teeth weren't the reason why he was as thin as he was. I know his previous owner did everything for him and I vaguely remember her saying that she'd taken him to the vet for a float at some point. But I wanted our vet to do an overall evaluation on Junior. I figure a second opinion is always a good thing. But our vet came up with the same conclusion. Junior is a hard keeper.

Of course, Friday  morning rolled around and I hadn't hooked the truck up. Luckily I'd given myself plenty of time. When I went out to hook the trailer up, it was iced over. I had to take a hammer to some parts of the trailer to get latches and doors open. By the time I was finally hooked up and on the road, I figured I'd better take the short route. Hwy 19 is finally open although rough. If I took the Valley Road it would add an additional 15 minutes to the drive. So I opted for Hwy 19.

I. Was. Wrong.

I should NOT have taken Hwy 19. It might be open and might be called a road by some, but I sure wouldn't call it a road. It took just as long to get to the vet's taking Hwy 19 as it would had I taken the Valley Road and driven the normal speed limit. 40mph on hwy 19. That'll teach me.

I decided that I would also take Rain to the vet to have his teeth floated. We've been working on his wavy teeth for the past few years and I wanted to make sure that he wasn't too bad. So I brought both Rain and Junior in to the working area and put Rain into the chute to be worked on.

Surprisingly, Rain did really well. The vet checked his mouth and said "If he were my horse, I wouldn't float him. But since you're here, we might as well take care of those few sharp points." I was thrilled. I was worried that his teeth would be all wavy again. I will admit that I was a bad horse owner and had them check to see when he was last floated. September 2010. We were able to get the waves under control and now are just maintaining his teeth instead of doing serious work. The best part, Rain let the vet hand float him without any sedatives. One less expense. Although I'm a little worried that Rain may not allow a hand float to happen again without a tranquilizer. But we'll see. Overall, Rain got a good grade on his teeth.

Then it was Junior's turn. Junior would NOT allow the vet to look at his teeth. So we had to tranquilize him. Once the vet got into his mouth, he decided that Junior only needed a hand float as well to get a few sharp points. He IS missing a tooth, which happened recently. So overall, Junior's teeth looked pretty darn good. The tranquilizer did it's job and Junior was sleepy for the hand float. I also had the vet take a quick look at him to get his impression on Junior, as far as weight goes. There's no heart murmur, which is good.

I think with Junior's high withers, he really looks thinner than he actually is. I pulled his blanket off, and he looked about the same as when we first got him. I was actually afraid that he'd dropped some weight since coming to the Sanctuary. So, we'll keep him on his grain ration and see how it goes. I'm hoping that maybe he'll eat faster but I think he's simply a slow eater (just like some people are slow eaters).

Once I had Rain and Junior loaded back in the trailer, I went back in to the vets for our little min pin to be examined. That gave Junior some more time to come out of the sedative. But when I got back out, his head was still drooping so I stopped at Mom and Dad's and gave Junior an extra half an hour to come out of the sedative before I hauled him home.

I made the smart move of taking the Valley Road, although that's curvy and winding so the horses had to pay attention while I was hauling them so they wouldn't get tossed around. Oh for a decent road!

So, an uneventful vet visit and I learned just a little bit more about Junior. Now to pay the bill. At least the vet was able to keep the price down.

Rain in December

The past few days have been super busy. Vet visit, hay delivery, extended family Christmas, and now Mother Nature is reminding me that we live in South Dakota.

We've had fog for the past four days straight, which has me wondering what March will be like. If we go back into an El Nino type of year, we are in for one doozy of a winter storm in March. Hopefully I'm wrong. We've had some really warm weather lately.

Last night the weatherman was predicting rain, freezing rain, and then snow for today. I learned my lesson from last Monday and blanketed everyone. I'm short a blanket (and actually I'm stuck using a few junky blankets that do NOT fit). Chaos is the only one without a blanket but he's pushy enough to stay in the run-in shed where everyone else may get pushed out.

I was glad that I put on the blankets when I went out to do chores this morning. It was raining. Although three hours later and there's no rain, just a lot of fog. I thought we were supposed to have rain and then snow later today but who knows at this point. I thought it would be like last week and the weather much worse. I hate trying to predict the weather. Makes it hard to juggle the paying job, plus caring for all the horses at the Sanctuary.

We are supposed to get snow tomorrow and wind. So we'll see if I get stuck on our gravel roads again or not. This winter seems to be perplexing me more than others.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Ol' Blue

You know the saying, don't get the cart before the horse? Well, I've been doing that my whole life. I had horses before I had a trailer, and then I had a trailer before I bought a truck. But it all worked out. I've had my gray stock trailer for years and it's been a faithful companion in all my horse endeavors. I bought the six horse trailer thinking that I would use that more, what with hauling draft horses to the vet. Well, I was wrong. I still use old faithful more than any other trailer.

Mike mentioned that the gray stock trailer is about due for tires. And as every horse owner knows, buying trailer tires is never a cheap ordeal. Mike happened to be talking with one of his co-workers about trailers and tires and such. His co-worker mentioned that they wanted to sell a stock trailer. Keep in mind, that both of the trailers are paid for and my next big trailer purchase will be either a brand new stock trailer to replace the gray trailer that's starting to show more than it's fair share of wear, or buy a fancy slant load bumper pull trailer.
When Mike's co-worker said he wanted to sell the trailer for cheap, we hemmed and hawed on how much cheap would possibly be. I guess it never hurts to ask right? We ended up buying a slightly smaller, and older stock trailer for the price of the tires.

It's anything but fancy but it'll be nice to have a spare stock trailer. Actually, it's a blessing in disguise. I know it's not much to look at but it'll do for hauling horses in a pinch.

If the tires in the gray stock trailer give out before this summer, then we'll pull the tires off the blue trailer and put them on my stock trailer. Gravel eats up tires like a bag of Hershey kisses. But if the tires on the gray trailer don't get chewed up this winter running around for drill team practice, I'll switch trailers this summer. That will give time for Mike to work on the gray trailer and get it back in to working order. We've been limping along waiting for a chance to spend some "quality" time working on the gray trailer. Now with the blue trailer, Mike can spend all summer fixing up the gray trailer so I can use it in the winter time (or I'll pull out the six horse trailer. I just think it's silly to pull a six horse trailer for one horse). :-)

So nothing truly exciting or anything spectacular. But we bought a trailer for the price of the tires. I love scoring deals like that!


An interesting read. I am a fan of the show Heartland and was excited when they touched on rescue horses and slaughter (and they touch on it every once in a while)...

So I'm a little disappointed and discouraged. Many horses need and deserve a retirement home. I only wish the Sanctuary could do more.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Snowdrifts and Winter

The weatherman said we had about four inches of snow. I would have to agree. Unfortunately, we also had wind, which meant drifting. I am hoping that Mike can get out with the snowplow and push snow around so that I don't have to  haul water back to the mares and Junior in four inches of snow. I really don't want to drag water buckets through the snow.

When I went to let the mares and Junior out of their stalls, their blankets were still crinkling. I guess the stalls in the hay shed aren't as warm as in the barn. The horses in the barn all had dry blankets. I'm a little worried about Jim's blanket. It's canvas. The inside was nice and dry but the canvas part was wet. I'll check it tonight during chores and see if I have to swap out blankets. I like having a few spares on hand but I'm running low on spares. Spares consist of torn up blankets that will do in a pinch but can't be used long term...or are someone else's blanket.

This morning I got ready to go to the paying job. Chores took me longer than expected but they always do when I have to stall everyone. Chores normally take 10 minutes (just throwing hay). This morning they took over a half an hour. I hopped in the car and headed on my way knowing the roads would be slick. I was a little worried when I plowed through the first snowdrift but didn't think anything more of it until the next snowdrift loomed ahead. I didn't think it was deep.

I. Was. Wrong.

My finger was on redial until Mike picked up. It didn't take long to get back out of the snowdrift but I'll be avoiding that road whenever the wind picks up. The only problem is, that's the main (and fasted) route to get to a paved road. Some of the other roads are just as impassible as others. Luckily the paying job is fairly understanding but I ended up staying home with our son to avoid getting caught in another snow bank.

Winter has returned. :-(

On the bright side, Mike did go to work (and got stuck in the same snowdrift that I did but managed to get out after a half an hour of digging) and went to pay the hay guy for our hay. I'm hoping that we'll have our six round bales delivered some time after Christmas.

I would love to fundraise for more hay. We got asked to take a mare but without more hay, I can't. And we are currently fundraising for Mayhem's hernia surgery. I have decided to up the anty on the fundraising but haven't gotten everything lined up just yet. So keep checking back for more details!

Monday, December 15, 2014

December Storm

I figured I had just a few minutes before I needed to do chores so I went out with the camera. The boys were not happy with having to wait while I took pictures. Kicking myself for not blanketing everyone. I only blanketed the hard keepers and I should have blanketed everyone. That will teach me for the next storm. 

Everyone is tucked into their respective stalls tonight enjoying their evening meal and staying warm and dry. Such a big change from two days ago.

Mares and Junior

The mares and Junior this past weekend before the storm hit.  The mares decided to join Junior (and steal his hay). 

Junior and his Blanket

Thank you Erin from Head Heart Hooves ( for giving Junior a blanket. With today's terrible rain, freezing rain, and then snow, I'm sure glad Junior has a nice warm blanket to snuggle in to.

It's still a trial and error to see if we can get the back leg straps on. There's something with his back legs that he wont' allow anyone to touch them (or get near). I thought it was only the left rear leg but apparently it's both legs. 

Once his blanket thaws out, I'll readjust and make sure that the blanket doesn't slip any farther. The freezing rain made all the blankets freeze in place.

I also want to thank Nadine M for finishing up Junior's fundraiser for hay. We are now fully funded for Junior's hay. And even better, just today we found someone selling hay/alfalfa round bales and the guy will deliver for a small fee. We'd have to make two trips (ended up buying six bales because that' what the guy had on hand), so instead opted to have it delivered for a very small fee. Well worth our time.

Now we have to coordinate schedules, something that's a little tough with Christmas right around the corner.


We've had some crazy weather in the last 24 hours. I'll write more about it soon and post pictures of the herd. We have lots going on and lots to share. But I have the chance to do chores in the daylight, so I'm going to take advantage of this rare opportunity!

Check back later tonight or first thing tomorrow morning for pictures!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Gentle Spirits - Polly those that might have read this post already.. I mistook Polly for Farrah...

On the way home from work yesterday, I saw Gentle Spirits Horse Sanctuary heading to Cedar Ridge. I decided to swing by and say hello since I hadn't seen them in awhile. They had a trailer load of horses ready for the farrier. I didn't get a chance to stay for very long or to really hang out with the horses but I did get to meet Polly. The pictures don't do this girl justice.

Oh sure, from a distance she may look like any other sorrel mare but she has a distinct coloring that a camera can't pick up. I didn't get to play with her since there were a few distractions (for me, not for Farrah) but she seemed very even keeled and unflappable even though there were horses in the arena and she was tied between herd mates waiting for their turn to get a pedicure.

I didn't mess with her like I would have liked but even with all the commotion, she seemed to take it all in stride. She is available for adoption and I think whoever sees her for the gem that she is, will be surprised at what a bond they'll have with her.

I know that people are interested in color and would prefer something other than sorrel. But speaking from experience with Ace and now Maverick, these sorrels are diamonds in the rough. All they need is a little bit of polish and they will shine brighter than any diamond.

Haven't not been around Farrah but for more than but a few minutes, I still got the impression that she would take care of her owner. I also expect that she'd also take care of her rider after the bond is established.

So if you get a chance, stop on over to Gentle Spirits and check out Polly (and her sister Farrah). Both are sorrel mares that with a little bit of polish will really shine on the trail or in the show ring.

Still Here

We are still here, just super busy.

Erin from Head Heart Hooves ( donated a blanket to Junior. I tried it on and it fits perfect. I've been meaning to post pictures so you can see Junior in his new blanket! He looks pretty sharp.

When we had hay delivered, we ran out of room and put some in the red shed. Unfortunately, when we have a normal winter, the snow piles up and we can't get the doors open on the north side (which is how we'd get the hay out). We decided that once the 2013 hay was gone that we'd move the hay. We did that on Sunday. I'd put Junior in his stall to eat his grain and we started moving hay. Mike got six bales in and said he couldn't get any more in. The ice in front of the hay shed was making it impossible to push the bales in. The tractor is too big to fit in the hay shed (not like our hay guy's tractor which can fit in almost any place!)

Mike had me go and look to see if the bales would be ok where they were. Umm. No. I couldn't get Junior out of his stall! He was trapped in there. I'm sure he would have been fine eating his way out of the stall but I wasn't fine with it. So back out two bales go. Then I look and still Junior is trapped in his stall. So out goes another two bales and then I can get Junior out. The only problem is that whoever is in that temporary stall can reach over and devour the entire gigantic bale so now I'm frantically working on that bale.

So, lesson learned. Don't try to put bales in that side of the hay shed! It took an hour to move six bales, only to have to move four of them back in. We're actually worse off than when we started but shhh, dont' tell Mike that.

I was rather disappointed. I'd hoped on Sunday to be able to do chores in the light but with moving hay and the like, I didn't get the chance and had to do chores in the dark. I'm ready for the days to be getting shorter and unfortunately, we still have shorter days to come. Soon the sun will be setting at 4:30pm and there's no way I can get out to do chores before then.

I'm worried about Junior as well. The last few days I've been late getting out to do chores so I've cheated and not grained anyone. I know, it's not good practice but it's been warm out. But I'm throwing hay. I also decided awhile back to stop stalling Junior at night because he seemed unhappy. So the other night, I pulled him into his stall to let him eat and he wouldn't touch his grain. I decided I'd stall him and throw hay. I wanted to keep an eye on him. He devoured his hay. He dove into that hay like he'd never eaten before. So I'm wondering if the mares are pushing him off his food. I also think that his teeth are bothering him. That first bite of grain was like he took the bite and then got turned off from him. I'd soaked it but not very well, which makes me think it's all about his teeth. So I'll be making a phone call to schedule an appointment for a float. Now to figure out how to juggle a vet visit in with all the other day-to-day activities and Christmas.

So much to do and so little time. But we are here and struggling to keep up with the daily grind. I'll hopefully be able to get caught up and post something more entertaining soon.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Can You Help Mayhem?

It's finally time Mayhem get her umbilical hernia surgery fixed. Can you help her?

She was born the wrong color, born with an umbilical hernia, and born with a heart murmur. We can't fix the heart murmur. However, we don't care what color she is. She's beautiful in our eyes. Now it's time to fix the hernia but we need your help.

We took Mayhem in to the Sanctuary in 2010 and gave her time to grow and be weaned. However, in 2011 we took in seven horses. Of those seven, five of them were either thin or emaciated (Bo, Dic, Savanna, Sahara, Sir Prize/Jett, Prince, and Flower). We depleted our funds bringing the emaciated horses back up to their correct weights so we couldn't get Mayhem's hernia fixed.

Then in 2012 and 2013 Mike, Garrett, and I all had major medical issues (and not to be over dramatic, these medical issues were near death incidents). So with all those medical issues, our funds were depleted and again Mayhem's surgery had to be placed on the back burner.

Now it's time Mayhem gets her surgery. We are asking for your help in collecting funds. With her heart murmur, I am figuring that we will have a few post-surgery vet visits to make sure that she is recovering and that there are no ill effects from the surgery (or from having to wait so long).

Can you help Mayhem?

The first two pictures are of Mayhem this fall. You can see in the first picture that the umbilical hernia.

 Mayhem is standing behind her momma, Rabbit. Mayhem was supposed to be a blue roan. She turned out identical to her mother.

The following pictures are of Mayhem and Rabbit the day after we brought them home to the Sanctuary. You can barely see the umbilical hernia on Mayhem. But you can definitely tell the straight and neglect that Rabbit went through. Rabbit has some medical issues of her own so we wanted to bring her into the Sanctuary and give her a retirement that she deserved. But she's a different story.


I guess I wouldn't say I was in total bliss last night. I wasn't riding a horse or messing with the senior horses. But I would consider it my second best bliss. We had no wind while doing chores, so no hay in my hair, in my eyes, or down my clothes. The horses were all respectful of their spaces and my space. The horses were also very patient and didn't try my last nerves like they'd done the night before. The quiet while doing chores was wonderful. No wind howling through the bare trees.  No stomping hooves to demand grain. Nothing but quiet and with an almost full moon, chores were easy.

The best part about last night, I didn't have to haul water! I'm guessing that's why I was in such a state of bliss. My parents were down watching my son (grandma and grandpa day!) and Mike volunteered to haul water. I was so grateful. I hadn't kept up the night before with the water. And with warmer weather, Mayhem drinks a LOT more water. So I knew I was faced with hauling at minimum eight buckets back. It turned out to be ten buckets filled between four and five gallons full. With Mike hauling, he probably filled them closer to five gallons full, whereas I do just over four gallons. Darn tendinitis gets in the way of so much these days.

Chores still took an hour to finish but I didn't have to lift an arm once to haul water. I'd say that was the best night for chores in a very long time. I won't take it for granted either. I know I won't have a "water boy" again for awhile so I'll take advantage of the opportunities when they come by.

And I found out this morning, best news ever! We had someone donate to Junior's last bale of hay! He is completely paid for on his hay! Now the hard part, finding hay this time of year. I've been searching for hay but nothing local. I'm going to wait a little bit longer but I expect I'll be working with our hay guy to see if he has any available. He's out of the hospital now so it should be easier to negotiate getting hay. Last night I also wrote the dreaded check for the 2013 hay. You're probably wondering why it would take so long to pay for hay that is already gone. Our hay guy prefers that we wait until the next year so that we don't mess up his records. It's a bit of a pain for us but I'll if it keeps our hay guy happy, I'll do it. With all the medical bills and such that we had last year, finding the funds to pay for hay was very tough this year, even with all the fundraising we did. So it took until now to pay for last year's hay. And now I'll be struggling to pay for this year's hay. Luckily our hay guys is really great about waiting for the money but I'd feel better if it was paid for by January 1. Goal for 2016? I am expecting that the 2014 hay will cost about the same as 2013's hay and that was $3,600 (we get a good guy discount).  I may start looking at doing some online fundraising in the very near future to help offset the hay. So keep an eye out for it soon!

Now back to my bliss of remembering chores with no wind and not having to haul water (we had wind this morning and I had to haul water). Short lived bliss but oh so worth it.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Thanksgiving and Needing Help

I hadn't intended on taking a blogger break over Thanksgiving but that's what it ended up being. I didn't even get a chance to do anything Sanctuary related other than minimal chores. We did enjoy a lot of quality family time over Thanksgiving and had to do some extended family activities on Friday. Saturday was gorgeous. We had to run in to town quick to pick up some grain but we were home before the day got away from us. I'd called our farrier earlier to see if he could make it out during the first warm spell we'd gotten since having Junior arrive. Saturday was the nicest day so our farrier came out and pulled Junior's shoes and did a quick evaluation of his feet. I'll post more about Junior on our Senior Equine Care blog (  We did a few other outside activities and enjoyed the nice weather. Then Sunday hit with vengeance and we stayed hidden inside away from the cold. We did make a quick trip back to town to take our son to acute care (he has pink eye). Ah the joys of winter. Monday I stayed home with our son and did some decorating. So absolutely NO Sanctuary work done, no paperwork, no researching, no emails, no nothing. Just feeding horses, hauling water, and doing a quick once over of everyone. I'll spend the rest of this week getting back into the swing of the old routine.

Luckily the weather is supposed to be fairly decent the rest of this week, making life easier. I'm finishing up the last of the 2013 hay so we can move some of the 2014 hay into the hay shed before the doors get frozen on the red shed. We ran out of room so we put the remaining hay in the red shed until there was room. I want to get it moved as soon as possible. Now that the days are SO short, I will start using the hay in the hay barn because there's a light!  When the tornado took out our yard light, we had another one put in. The electric company put it up in a different spot, close to the spot it was originally at. I had no idea and it didn't matter. But now it matters. The yard light is down too low so the light doesn't shine over the hay barn and help shine light on me when I'm throwing hay from the hay shed. If I'd only known! I've been doing chores in the dark (well relatively speaking because the yard light IS working) for a month and I'm already sick of it.

With Junior now in the herd (well, in with the mares), I am dishing out more hay. We raised funds for four of the five bales that we needed (the owner is donating two bales when we get around to needing them). We are still in need of funds for that last bale. But we are also in need of round bales! I haven't been able to find anyone selling hay so  I'm now on the lookout for hay as well.

We did get asked to take a mare. I'd seen her earlier in the year and knew that I would like to offer her a permanent retirement home but now that we have Junior, and not enough hay, we can't take her in unless people want to donate more funds. We'd have to gather funds for six bales. If we can't raise all the funds for Junior, how could I possible raise enough funds for yet another horse. I'm going to see if the owners would be willing to keep her for the winter and then I can open our doors to her in the spring. But we'll see. I'm a little frustrated because this  mare, although she doesn't fit all of our requirements, deserves a retirement. Her body gave out before her age so now she's lame in the front and only in her early teens. She deserves a place to call home where she's not worked and can enjoy being a pasture pet. But I need everyones help!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Upcoming Loose Horse Sale

I happened to be on the South Dakota Horse Sale website (it used to be the Corsica Horse Sale). They are looking to have a Loose Horse Sale the second Saturday in December. This will definitely be a time for owners to dump their horses before the real winter sets in (not that winter hasn't set in already).

Unfortunately, we won't be able to bring anyone home unless people would be willing to donate towards the winter hay. We are still short on funds for Junior's final bale of hay so I doubt we can bring another horse in at this time.

Here's the blurb about current prices:

The top ten Loose horses averaged $833 selling from $600 to $1500 top. On the weigh up end, market was higher. Heavy horses, 1000 lb and over sold .40 to .45 cents lb, 500 to 1000 lb sold.30 to .40 cents lb and yearling horses, 500 to 800 lb sold .23 to 30 cents lb. We hope to hold a Loose sale the 2nd Saturday in December, if weather forecast permits.

Of course they won't mention the No Value and the low prices that some horses brought in. I worry for the horses heading to the loose sale in December. People will be culling because of the harsh winter we've already had and expect to have more. I wish we had more funds to at least pull ONE horse.

Anyone want to sponsor a Sanctuary horse or be willing to sponsor an auction horse? Figure $65 per bale and we would need five bales. We'd also most likely need to purchase grain but for now, hay is the most important part. Maybe for Thanksgiving and/or Christmas, you'd rather sponsor a horse. $100 a month sponsors a horse at the Sanctuary. Or maybe this year, you'd like to help save a life.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

This Is Horse Slaughter In Canada

A really good read:

Monday, November 24, 2014

Updates and Ideas

For those that might be interested in seeing the Sanctuary horses, I've updated the "Current Residents" and "Greener Pastures" pages with pictures and descriptions. Some of the pictures are a little outdated but still worth looking at.

Also, I'm curious to know what everyone wants to see for the upcoming year. Do you want to see more "challenges" like we did in October, do you want to see more pictures in general, more activities around the Sanctuary, or should I just keep plugging along the way I have for the past few years?  I am looking at ways to get you, yes you, more involved with the Sanctuary! ;-)

I'd love to hear from you. Please leave a comment or send me an email at The more ideas that come my way, the better I can help our Sanctuary horses (and senior horses in general)!

Warm Up and Cool Down

This weekend was beautiful...ok so maybe it was more like Saturday was beautiful. No wind, no clouds, and plenty of sun. Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to get everything done on my list that I'd wanted to. It seems to be a reoccurring thing with me (my lists are too big).

But the weather was warm on Saturday so we spent most of the afternoon hanging out outside. The farmers took advantage of the warmer weather and finished picking corn around us. Our farmer friend had a field to the west of us that still had corn. He was able to get it out but by that time, we'd already put the snow fence around some of the new evergreen trees we planted this summer. So now we don't have a snow fence to keep the snow off the road and plugging up our driveway. I guess we'll see how it goes. Too late now to do anything. Mike was able to put a couple more fence posts into the ground but it was a struggle.  I think the ground is pretty well frozen now. So much for getting a hole dug and a building pushed in and buried.

On Sunday we woke up to light sprinkles and by mid morning we were getting serious rain. Of course, Mike suggested we go out and move corral panels (something on my list that I wanted to do on Saturday). So out in the pouring rain I went. Mike and Garrett hung out in the tractor staying nice and dry. I was able to wring out my gloves by the time we were done moving all the corral panels. But now I have four back in the hay shed to make another temporary stall for the three in the smaller pen (Rabbit, Mayhem, and Junior). I'll feel better having that many stalls because I think this winter will be rough.

That's about all I was able to get done. I'd wanted to try on the blanket that was donated to Junior but didn't have enough daylight and I wanted to take pictures but again, not enough daylight. Too many other things going on to take pictures I guess.

I'm figuring this week will be fairly quiet, what with it being Thanksgiving. I'll be enjoying some family time this coming holiday season and it's exactly what I need to rejuvenate (ok, so would a trip somewhere warm!)

With the warmer weather, Dude perked up and this morning with the wind howling and the temps dropping I watched Dude. He's being very careful where he puts his feet. I don't know that it's his feet that are bothering him but rather those darn hips of his. He did come out of the run-in shed sooner than he has all of last week. I'm thinking I will get him a blanket and see if that helps any. If he's warmer and the cold doesn't sink too far into his hips, then maybe he'll feel better? I don't know. It's all such a crap shoot.

Junior is doing great. I called my farrier but he was out of town so it'll have to be a little bit longer before we can get those blasted shoes of Junior. I don't want him walking on ice with those shoes. With all the warm temperatures and the rain, we pretty much don't have any snow left. The few patches of slush have turned into ice. I'm hoping that we'll get a little bit of sunshine and that the ice will melt. With the warmer weather I left Junior out and boy was he displeased with me!

With the warmer weather, I held off on graining Bo as much. I think that was a mistake. I can't tell but I think he might have lost a little weight. I cant' tell as well with the winter coat on but I want to make sure that Bo gets his grain every night. He's such a hard keeper.

Hopefully tonight the wind won't be blowing. For almost the entire month of November, the wind has been blowing. I can only think of two or three times where chores have been easy and I haven't had hay in unmentionable places!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Dude on the Watch List

I noticed that Dude is off. I can't place it. He's been off ever since last week when we got all the snow. I'm worried about him. The other day he was banging at the door to get in but he doesn't normally come into the barn (he's not deemed a hard keeper so he doesn't get mash like the hard keepers). But I've noticed the last week that Dude will hang his head out and around the run-in shed but won't expose the rest of his body.

Usually when I start throwing hay (or appear to throw hay), he rushes out of the run-in shed and makes a bee line right for the hay. Now, I'll throw a couple piles of hay and then he'll mosey his way over to a hay pile. He'll still pin his ears but he doesn't have that same gusto that he used to have. At the beginning of the month, his back end was really giving him fits, which means he's off on the front.

His left hip is the one giving him problems, so he puts all his weight on the right hip/leg. But when the right leg/hip starts to hurt even more, he puts  more weight on the front and in the beginning of November, he was limping on the front as well. Luckily we got him trimmed up, thinking that might be part of the problem (he's also slightly over at the knees as far as I can tell). But with the snow and freezing temperatures, I'm not sure if his hip is giving him more pain or if it's his feet that are bothering him. He doesn't walk like King, who has flat and super tender feet. But Dude does seem like he's overly cautious about where he's putting his feet. 

So I don't know what to do. I don't want to stall him every night because that could cause even more stiffness with him standing around. But he seems to be hiding from the wind, which used to never bother him in the past. I'm guessing the hip now has arthritis so there's a lot of aches and pains. So I don't know if I should blanket him to see if that helps? If there's less wind and a little bit more protection, maybe he'd be less inclined to stay in the run-in shed (and keep everyone else hostage who goes in before him). Or if I need to put him on some type of pain medication? I don't want to run him through a gauntlet of tests but I'm not sure what to do with him to keep him comfortable. It dawned on me that he'll be 18 years old this coming year. In the Sanctuary's world, 18 is still considered young. But with the hip, it could be that for Dude, 18 is considered old and I need to start pampering him a little bit more. 

So now I don't know what to do. I hate being in such a quandary. If you have any advice, I'd love to hear it. Once the temps warm up, and the roads clear off, if Dude doesn't perk up, I'll be heading to the vet to see if there's anything I can do to ease his discomfort. I'm now adding Dude to my watch list. The stresses of a Sanctuary!

Junior and Tiny Dictator

Monday night the temps were supposed to be below zero with wind chills in the 20 below wind chills. I opted to keep the hard keepers in their stalls and feed extra to the others. I didn't put everyone in because there was no wind. I'm sure with a below zero temp that any wind would make it 100 times worse but everyone could get in out of the wind.

However, this morning I woke up to wind howling. Oh sure, the temps were higher but that wind just cut through everything. I can't believe it's only November and we are dealing with January type weather.

Junior seems to be doing great even with the upheaval of a new home, routine, and feed. He practically haltered himself last night. He is getting where he backs away once his nose is in the halter. I haven't figured out what that's about. He was in his stall finishing up his grain, waiting for his alfalfa and poked his head over the door. I gave his head and ear a good itch and then it hit me. Some of Junior's actions reminded me of my very first horse, Tiny Dictator. The thought left me frozen. Oh sure, Junior is much more friendly then Dictator ever was but some of that affection Junior showed me was exactly the same. I'm thinking maybe Junior was an old ranch horse. He had the benefit of having multiple owners who doted on him where Dictator only had three (me being the third) and I was the only one to have doted on him. It was just a weird feeling that came over me last night. It's a bit hard to explain.

Dictator many years ago

Monday, November 17, 2014

Boo To Winter

I'm already tired of winter and seeing white so I thought I would post just a few pictures of color! Yeah to fall, boo to winter.

Boils my Blood

I was pursuing Craigslist, which I should know better. I came across an ad for a senior equine in the same area that the Sanctuary is at. I won't post the entire ad but here's what made my blood boil...

I have an older quarter horse gelding around 25 years old. Looking for something younger and don't need this old boy anymore. 

I  won't bother telling the owner that he's not going to get his asking price, which happens to be over $1200. Don't need?!?! He's served his owner and this is the respect (or lack thereof) that he receives.  Oh sure, a 25 year old horse may still be great for small jobs of toting kids around or a short trail ride. And maybe I'm just touchy today about how people word what they say. I bet this is a darn good horse, I just wish he had a good owner.

Chronicles of Junior

For those interested, I am chronicling Junior's progress in the Senior Equine Care blog that I also maintain. You can read all about Junior at:

Winter is Here

The calendar might say that it's only November, but winter is here. I'm afraid winter is here to stay. We received our first snow fall on Saturday and had over six inches of snow. I wouldn't mind so much but we still had a few things that we needed to get wrapped up. But those things will have to wait. But with six inches of snow and me being only 5ft 3in, tromping through snow hauling two 5-gallon buckets full of water back to the mares and Junior is a little tough. The buckets were dragging in the snow. It wouldn't be bad either if I only had to haul back two buckets. With Junior, I know have to haul back six buckets to keep the 100 gallon tank full. I let it go one night and it took me umpteen buckets to get it back to full.

I've also been stalling Junior at night so that he can eat in peace. That also means that he needs to have his own bucket of water. I think I'm hauling about 50 gallons of water every night between the horses, ponies, and dogs. It's going to be a LONG winter.

I'll tell a story about Junior later. Or go over to the Senior Equine Care blog where I'm chronicling Junior's progress.

I was able to do all of my chores Saturday in the daylight which was lovely but every other day I've been out in the dark doing chores. I'm not ready for winter and winter chores. Six months of this is six months too long! Yesterday the wind picked up and it was bitterly cold. I guess the Farmers Almanac was right. Normal amount of snow but bitterly cold. It's supposed to be below zero degrees Fahrenheit tonight. The rule used to be that it the temps fell below zero that the horses would go in. But everyone can get in out of the wind and hang out under shelter so that rule might have to change. Junior will always go in just so he can eat all night. I threw in his hay, alfalfa, and grain mash last night and this morning I caught him with a mouthful of hay still! It takes him that long to eat.

The weather is supposed to warm up by the end of the week. I hope it actually happens. I did keep track of the fog we had earlier in the year. If we are technically in an El Nino, then the snow we had on Saturday was spot on! For those that might not know me, I'm a little weird when it comes to winter and storms. I follow the old wives tale of 90 days from fog is rain/snow. Starting this past week and going for another three weeks, I have fog marked down in my calendar each week. We'll see if it was just a fluke or if we truly are in an El Nino. It would make tracking predicted snow a little bit easier.

The farmers around us didn't get their corn out either. Our farmer friend has a field just to the west of us. We normally have to put up a snow fence to keep some of the snow from drifting up into our driveway but he still has corn. I doubt he'll be able to get the corn out at this rate. I really didnt' figure we'd get six inches of snow in the middle of November.

Winter is definitely here!

Auction Horse

I didn't write this nor do I know the person. But she is doing her part in trying to save slaughter bound horses that are trapped at feedlots every week.

Week after week I see slaughterbound horses. I go to feedlots and auctions and you would think that maybe I would quit feeling by now. Every week I go to the feedlot in Sunnyside. There are usually a few familiar faces from the week before, but mostly new faces, and new stories, or sometimes no stories at all. Sometimes I wonder how there are just so many horses that week after week I try to save them and say goodbye to the ones that ship to slaughter, yet there are always more.
I sat and just looked at this little foal for a while tonight and wondered what kind of life he would have and hoped that he wouldn't come back and end up in this kind of situation again. He doesn't have a home yet, nor does his mother, but I will post them and I will try. That's all I can do is try, week after week, horse after horse. I sat there on the hay and watched the little foals as they escaped from their pen and played in the alleyway while munching on hay, oblivious that this is not a safe place for horses to be, but rather death row.
Many people have the assumption that just because this particular feedlot lets us list horses to give them a second chance, that horses that are desirable will be able to be rehomed, for example, kids horses. 
Last week all but one of the kids horses recently bought at an auction shipped to slaughter without even a chance to be listed. The truck came early and the load was filled. These were horses that were rehomeable horses but they were bought for the purpose of slaughter, as all are there. When the truck is there, there is no time to look through stories on horses and find out who they are. It really is tragic that these kids horses shipped but no horse is safe when bought by a kill buyer. If you are thinking about buying them at the auction then please do and do not wait for them to end up at a feedlot because they will not be guaranteed safe. He tries his best to keep horses who could go back to be good horses for people and lets us rehome them for what they would bring slaughter price, but he has to feed them too and often times is lucky to even break even on their resale. Kill buyers are horsemen too, no matter what anyone says. I don't think one kill buyer likes shipping a horse that he considers a good horse, but there are just so many and their business is slaughter, not rescue.
I looked through about 130 horses today and only 30 will probably be listed. How do you choose? What do you say to the friendly horse that comes up to you and wants to be your friend but is lame? You give him some love and walk away knowing that he will be on the next slaughter truck. It's the crippled ranch geldings that really get to me. These were good horses who took care of their people and ended up crippled from working so hard. They were not given the chance to retire but instead just sold for their meat to use them one last time. Sometimes I just don't know how I can do it anymore as I look at the pregnant mares I can't touch also in the ship pen. I feel like I fail each and every one of those horses in the ship pens. Surely there has to be someone for them too, but the truth is, there just aren't enough homes, and horses are expensive.
As always, I thank each and everyone of you for sharing these horses and hopefully reaching one person that had no idea of their plight. If even one person chooses to rescue and not breed, or doesn't send their horse to auction and seeks responsible rehoming instead, or chooses to euthanize their old horse, we are successful. I am always amazed at how we pull together as a community to save these horses week after week. For those horses it makes all the difference in the world and you have my deepest thanks. Tomorrow I will spend my day posting new horses. Please have a look and share if you could. It does make a difference. Thank you.

If you are interested in learning more, please go to You will want to do your own research on this group as there is controversy about feedlots and such but I thought I needed to share. At the Sanctuary, we try to provide homes for horses to retire but we can only do so much and we need your help. The horses need your help. For Christmas, maybe you can help sponsor a horse? $100 a month or even just $5 goes a long way in helping a senior horse.

Friday, November 14, 2014

A Horse Should Be Treated Like a Gentleman

I the following saying "A horse should be treated like a gentleman" on a twitter feed this morning. I thought it very fitting in thinking of Junior. Last night I brought his grain and went to halter him. It didn't take as long to get the halter on and I decided that I would put him in a stall instead. He was in the stall and had taken one bite of his grain mash and then gave me the biggest, most gigantic, most slobbery horse kiss right in the ear! I've not ever gotten a big kiss like that before. None of our "gentlemen" give kisses like that! I was blown away. Junior had been here for about 48 hours and he was already catching on to the routine and loving on me (instead of the other way around!)

I opted to keep him stalled last night. He seemed SO relaxed standing in his stall. I was nervous that he would get upset by being alone but he didn't seem to care. I threw a second serving of hay to him. I wanted to see how much he would actually eat. He devoured his grain mas and two slivers of alfalfa and this morning when I went to get him out of his stall, he'd eaten half to three quarters of his hay.

I'm thinking that he'll be stalled every night so that even if he can't eat in peace during the morning, he can at least eat in peace at night and not have to rush or get pushed off his hay. there was a totally different look in his eyes last night when I brought his grain.

This morning, after I put him in the pen with the mares, he kept coming to the fence. I would like to think he wanted to tell me sweet nothings, but really I think he was trying to tell me to bring more grain! But he followed me everywhere and it wasn't until I went around the corner (and peeked around to see him) that he settled down to eat.

So I think Junior and I have our routine. It'll put extra stress on me but it'll alleviate any stress on Junior, which is all that matters. That horse...that horse amazes me. I can't say enough good things about Junior. Love him. Treat him like a gentleman and you'll have a gentleman for a horse!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Junior Update

I didn't really get to spend any time with Junior last night. I had only 30 minutes to get what normally takes 1.5 to 2 hours worth of chores to get done. So I had to hustle. I'll try to get some better pictures of Junior this weekend when there's actual light. I do morning and evening chores in the dark so no opportunities for decent pictures.

I can say that even after just 36 hours, Junior is a total doll. He's still a touch-me-not but he come right up to the fence and waits for me. It's like he's following my every move. I am a little worried that Mayhem is pushing him around more than I expected. Rabbit could care less about him. I'm debating on stalling him at night so that he can get out of this awful wind and have an entire evening under cover with a huge pile of hay, alfalfa, and his evening mash without having to fight off a darn filly. If that doesn't work, I may put Mayhem in with the ponies. I think without having to worry about getting pushed around and getting to stand in front of his food without being bullied, he might stand a chance of gaining some weight. But I don't know. It's all a guessing game at this point.

He definitely is hard to catch. It took me a solid five minutes of trying to before I could coax him to let me get a halter on. But I told him that from now on, he wont' be worked and that the halter actually means food! He likes his grain. I think it might have been too dark for him to finish up his grain. Or he hit the bottom where the calf manna was stuck to the edges and he's not a "lick the bowl clean" kind of horse. Tonight when I have more time, I'll not rush him and see if he'll eat the entire bowl of grain. I may put him in a stall and not have to worry about hovering so much.

There's definitely a learning curve on both our parts but Junior is trying SO hard. It almost breaks my heart. He desperately wants to trust and be pampered but he's working through some issues on whether I can be trusted or not. It'll simply take time, and I have that to offer to him.

Junior is truly a blessing. He's a heart horse for sure!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Winter is Here

Last weekend we worked frantically to get things wrapped up around the Sanctuary. Temperatures started dropping during the weekend but the super cold temperatures held off. We were supposed to get a serious storm Monday.

But when I woke up and went out to do chores, there was no snow, just super cold temperatures (and the inevitable wind chill). :-( We bypassed the entire storm and the only snow that's on the ground is the little bit that caught in the grass along the edges. I'm glad that we aren't dealing with a half a foot of snow at the moment.

I'm starting to think that it's too cold to snow. We are barely into the double digits right now and the wind chill is below zero. Five below zero (Fahrenheit) to be exact. For January, that would be unpleasant but not out of the norm. For November, it's AWFUL! And unusual! We are dealing with January temperatures in November. That thought makes me VERY nervous. If we are dealing with wind chills below zero NOW, what will January and February bring us? Last year we dealt with -40 wind chills. Luckily everyone could get out of the wind. This year we lost the roof of the little run-in shed so it'll be more tricky. I'm hoping to work on the roof when the wind dies down and the temps warm up (at least so there's no wind chill in the below zero range).

I took an inventory of blankets earlier this year but now I'm thinking that I need to re-inventory. I still need to repair a half a dozen blankets. I may try my hand with a sewing machine to see if I can get some of the repairs done more quickly and the blankets available.

I did blanket Rabbit Monday night. She was shivering like crazy and I was worried that she'd get chilled. I didn't want to blanket her because she doesn't have a decent winter blanket yet. I put a temporary blanket on (not hers because hers is ripped). Hopefully we'll get out of these awful wind chills below zero soon. Otherwise we are going to have a very LONG winter!

I also introduce Junior to Rabbit and Mayhem last night. The wind was out of the west and Junior couldn't get out of the wind. So he got a quick introduction to the  mares. I'll write more about that later. Now it's time to warm up!

More About Junior

So, you want to know more about Junior?

I was contacted awhile back about taking in an older horse who needs permanent retirement (Junior). His owner wanted to do right by him and was searching for someone who could provide a quiet retirement.

Here's what I know about him:

  • He was originally sold to his owner as a seven year old gelding. But when she took him to her vet, they discovered that he was probably in his twenties.
  • The owner had him for four years and did almost anything on him. So that would make him closer to 25 right now (so that'll be his age).
  • The owner was told he was a race horse but as far as I know, there's no tattoo and no papers. Which means he was not raced but could have been a track pony.
  • His owner used him as a lesson horse for young children to learn how to ride but he developed an issue with his back end and now needed retirement from all work. He was taken to a chiropractor and the chiropractor couldn't find anything wrong with him.
  • His owner used him in ranch rodeos, playdays, and trail riding.
  • For some reason I want to say that he was used at a youth camp but I can't verify that information.
So that's the information that I got from his owner.  Here's what I know about him just in being around him for less than 24 hours:

  • I'm thinking that he's going to be a hard keeper. The weight that he has on him now is what he's looked like for his owner for the past four years.
  • He's very passive and will get pushed around. If a horse looks at him wrong, he'll move away. So I have to make sure that there are multiple piles of hay for him to eat so that if a horse looks at him wrong, he'll have another pile of hay to eat.
  • He is a touch-me-not. He doesn't feel comfortable being touched (even his owner said that and wondered if he'd been abused in a previous home).
  • But he does come right up to the gate to watch what I am doing. So he's trying really hard to be friendly and wants to please.
  • He loves his grain.
  • He doesn't like apples but liked licking my gloves that had apple juice (from the apples).
  • He may potentially be hard to catch but we'll win him over with daily grain (and lack of doing anything but being a pasture puff).
  • He has two brands on him. One looks like a spade on his right shoulder and another looks like a partial sun on his right cheek (the one on his cheek doesn't show right now with his winter hair). Those brands make me think that he was a ranch horse.
And here's what we need:

  • I took him in on good faith that we would be able to raise the final $65 to purchase his winter supply of hay. We are one bale short (the $65). We raised $260 to purchase four bales. Thank you Keith Letson, Heather McLay, and Barb Simon for donating to purchase four bales of hay! Junior will be happy!
  • I would really like Junior to have his very own blanket. We have a few spare blankets that don't yet need repairs but I don't know if they will fit him. I need to measure to see what size he is. But it would be nice to wrap him up in a warm blanket this winter to ward off this awful below zero wind chills. I don't care what brand or color. As long as it's a medium weight blanket, that's all that matters.
  • If anyone has access to brands, I would love to track down who owns his brand. I doubt I'll be able to get the brand on his cheek until spring but the brand on his shoulder is included in the pictures in the previous post. Any bit of information would be greatly appreciated.
  • Grain to feed Junior. I want to start him on the same grain ration that I have Bo on, which is Nutrena Senior, Sweet Feed, and Calf Manna. I'll be introducing beet pulp shortly but wanted to get him adjusted to his new grain ration before beet pulp since beet pulp is an acquired taste. Nutrena Senior is $20 per page, Sweet Feed is $10-12 per bag, and Calf Manna is $30 per bag. Beet pulp is about $13-14 per bag.
  • Donations to help offset the cost of grain. Any amount is greatly appreciated. $5 or $50, it'll all be very much appreciated by me and Junior!
I will keep everyone updated on Junior's progress. All I have to do is look into those liquid brown eyes and my heart melts. He is the reason why we are here. He is the reason why I feel so strongly about providing a retirement home to senior horses. There is something about Junior that I can't describe. My heart melts when I see him.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Meet Junior

I would like to introduce to you Junior. I will share more about him later. Right now, I'm beat.

Junior is Here!

Junior is here! He arrived safely this morning. He's such a love! Usually when a horse unloads from a trailer in an unusual place (and when its' windy and cold), they get a little upset. Not Junior. He stood patiently still, taking in all the sights. He's a very quiet boy.

I have him in a pen near the ponies right now to get used to seeing the other horses. I'm debating on putting him in with the mares for tonight so he can get away from the west wind. I wish it was the weekend so I could bond with him more. For now, I'm giving him some space to take in all the new sights and smells. I'm not one for pushing.

I have pictures but will go out later to get better pictures and will post pictures later today. We still need to raise funds for one more bale ($65) if anyone wants to donate. Even if you don't have $65, donating towards a bale would be very helpful. Every dollar counts! $1 or $65 doesn't matter. It's all very much appreciated.

And with this cold weather setting in so quickly, I would like to buy Junior a blanket. We have a few blankets but they are all spoken for, for the hard keepers. I'm afraid Junior might be a hard keeper and I would like to keep him warm this winter. If you have a blanket you would like to donate, we would greatly appreciate it. Or if you would like to buy Junior a blanket, I know Junior would love it! We have one or two blankets that might fit but they need some serious repair before I can use them and I'm not sure I'll have time to figure out how to fix them (they have serious tears). Blankets range in cost from $50 to $90 so if you dont have a blanket or dont want to go out and find one, you can always donate towards a blanket for Junior.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Horse of the Month - Bo

Bo has had an interesting life. I don't know the entire story but I can say that he is safe at the Sanctuary and will remain here and be watched like a hawk.  We rescued Bo from an auction in March 2011. He was nothing but skin and bones (see the fourth picture). He's a super hard keeper. I did meet one of his owners and was told that he had a high metabolism. 

I don't know the specifics; it's all heresay so instead, I'll focus on Bo's future. He's still a hard keeper as the first two pictures show. These were taken last year and he still looked tough. He had a few set backs while I was pregnant and lost a bit of weight. But I think I've figured out his grain ration but we'll see how it works with the upcoming winter months.

With what I was told about his past, I was shocked that Bo is still such a sweet and happy horse. He always greets me with a loud whinny and it warms my heart. Bo is fully broke to ride although I don't ride him that much. He gets very nervous and upset when I haul him anywhere, so I've left him to simply be a horse and will putter on him just around the Sanctuary.

I know people say that you only get one heart horse, but I've had a few. Bo is a heart horse. He tries so hard and wants to be near me. It warms my heart. He's also best friends with Zeke. They are pretty much inseparable when out in the pasture.

Bo is at the bottom of the pecking order. But I run him into the barn to get his daily grain ration. If I don't have his grain IMMEDIATELY, he lets me know that he's not happy about the delay. He's probably the loudest horse around when he whinnies for his grain!

The above picture was a week after we brought him home. When we first brought him home, you couldn't tell how bad he really was because his hair was fluffed up. I'd put a blanket on to ward against the chill and it became even more apparent that he was starving. At first, he was so lethargic that I left him stalled (for quarantine purposes) but I would hand walk him. We could only walk a few steps before he would become exhausted. But he's bounced back and although he'll never be fat, he'll always have food to devour.

The above picture is of Bo a month after bringing him home. It's amazing how long it takes to gain the weight back on (and how quickly it falls off him).

So you can see, after just a month of constant feeding and different graining rations, he's already gained weight.

Bo is a very special horse for me. I'm sure others would just see a gangly horse. He's a National Show Horse (which is part arabian and part saddlebred). He doens't look like a quarter horse and he's mostly legs and neck. But his personality is what I see. We are so blessed to have Bo in our lives.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Donations Coming In

Yesterday afternoon, what should I find in our mailbox, but a letter from a very good friend, Heather McLay. She and her family donated funds to purchase not one, but two round bales. So by Friday evening we had three bales covered!

Today, while hanging out with family, Barb Simon stopped over. She handed me a check for one bale!

We are now only one bale away ($65) from bringing Junior "home". I am getting more and more excited to tell Junior's current owners that he will have a permanent retirement at the Sanctuary. We still need to raise $65 but even $5 can go a long way in bringing Junior home!

From the bottom of my heart, Thank you!